Essen. Evonik Industries has developed a new, active filler for the tire industry that significantly improves the traction of winter tires in snowy and slushy conditions, thereby increasing safety. ULTRASIL® 4000 GR is the first Low Surface Area (LSA) silica that also offers very good dispersibility. This enables very high filler levels in the tire tread, further improving traction compared to tires using conventional silica.
“Unique to ULTRASIL® 4000 GR is its product design that combines very good dispersibility and a low surface area, and this is what makes the high filler levels possible,” says Bernhard Schäfer, Senior Vice President Rubber Silica at Evonik. Despite its high filler quantity, this silica can easily be dispersed into the rubber compound. “Even after short mixing processes, it is possible to create compact rubber batches with good sheet appearance,” Schäfer explains.
Not only in tire treads but also in sidewalls and non-tire applications such as mechanical rubber goods (MRG) or shoe soles, manufacturers benefit from the resource-saving processing and excellent product properties of the new member of the ULTRASIL® family.
“After all, its excellent dispersibility is a significant advantage in processing here, too, particularly when using high filler levels,” emphasizes Roland Krafczyk, Vice President Global Applied Technology Tire & Rubber.
Under the ULTRASIL® brand, Evonik offers a wide range of fillers all over the world, which have various properties and particle sizes and are tailored to different applications.
ULTRASIL® 4000 GR will initially be produced in a new precipitated silica line at the Adapazarı site in northern Turkey. The line started operations in fall 2019 with the goal of strengthening the company’s position as a global partner for the tire industry. The new production line enabled Evonik to significantly expand its annual capacity for the manufacturing of silica and also created around 40 new jobs.
Silica is part of the Smart Materials division at Evonik and thereby constitutes one of the four strategic growth pillars at the company. These intelligent products increase the performance of many materials.
Evonik is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. The company is active in more than 100 countries around the world and generated sales of €12.2 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of €1.91 billion in 2020. Evonik goes far beyond chemistry to create innovative, profitable and sustainable solutions for customers. More than 33,000 employees work together for a common purpose: We want to improve life today and tomorrow.
ABOUT SMART MATERIALS
The Smart Materials division includes businesses with innovative materials that enable resource-saving solutions and replace conventional materials. They are the smart answer to the major challenges of our time: environment, energy efficiency, urbanization, mobility and health. The Smart Materials division generated sales of €3.24 billion in 2020 with about 7,900 employees.
In so far as forecasts or expectations are expressed in this press release or where our statements concern the future, these forecasts, expectations or statements may involve known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results or developments may vary, depending on changes in the operating environment. Neither Evonik Industries AG nor its group companies assume an obligation to update the forecasts, expectations or statements contained in this release.